Antony Micallef's 'bubblegum pop' paintings combine skilled brushwork with references
to old masters and graphic design.
Dealing with the subject of portraiture in a dark and slightly twisted way, human forms are placed in artificial, unnatural environments that are influenced by popular culture in the forms of fashion, music and design.
By shaping an artificial 'stage' for his 'characters' to inhabit, Micallef attempts to capture and reveal their personality.
My Walk In Harajuku, 2005
He states, "When I begin painting a face it feels like I'm facing for marks randomly, trying to catch an expression of a character, an identity".
Japan has been a major influence in Micallef's paintings, as seen in works such as "Girls from Harajuku" and "Study from Tokyo".
21st Century Love, 2005
The artist states: "The culture there is completely twisted. You have that real sugar side, but there's always a dark side underneath. I'm trying to look at that in-between space in pop".
In 2000, at the age of 24, Micallef won second prize in the BP Portrait awards. Micallef also exhibited in 'Pictures on Walls' annual show 'Santa's Ghetto' in 2005 alongside Banksy, Jaime Hewlett and Stanley Donwood.
Collectors of his work include Jude Law REM front man Michael Stipe, Amanda de Cadenet and Nick Velensi from American band The Strokes.